Author Archives: Margaret Jean Langstaff

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger.

It Happened Here

Most writers today who publish eventually have to come to terms with plagiarism and the low-down rip-off artists who practice it. It’s everywhere now, to be sure, and no place is it more common and flagrant than online. The motives … Continue reading

Posted in journalism, Literature, Plagiarism, publishing | 11 Comments

“I’m Nobody/Who are You?” Emily Dickinson: Major New Book & Exhibit

Posted in American Literature, Emily Dickinson Poetry, Literature, poetry | 1 Comment

Is It Just Me, or that “The World Is too Much with Us?”

I woke up at two a.m. this morning with this well-known masterpiece by the incomparable English bard Wordsworth coiling through my mind. This sonnet was penned in Britain just as the Industrial Revolution was upending the trusted old courtesies and … Continue reading

Posted in Literary Classics, Literature, poetry, poets | Tagged | 9 Comments

Baby, it’s cold inside …

The “Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.” Wallace Stevens was a seminal, groundbreaking American modernist poet.  A contemporary of Eliot, he flipped the archetype of the wan, pale, misunderstood verbal virtuoso.  Instead, he pursued a lucrative … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, Literature, poetry, poets | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

The Father’s Eye. . .

I clipped this beautiful poem from the New York Times years ago.  It still remains one of my all-time Christmas favorites. So subtle, understated and allusive.  Thought I’d share while wishing you the joy of this miraculous season! Pardon the … Continue reading

Posted in Joseph Brodsky, Literature, poetry, poets | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Joy to the World!

Joy to the World , the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing. Joy to the … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | Leave a comment

My Life as a Turkey (really)

Apropos of the holiday, I thought I’d share a curious life-changing experience I had this year with respect to (you got it) turkeys. For some reason, a number of large wild turkey mamas decided to use my place to feed … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Literature | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments